clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Can Vitor Roque be a long-term replacement for Robert Lewandowski at Barcelona?

Brilliant in Brazil

Athletico Paranaense v Atletico Mineiro - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2023 Photo by Gabriel Machado/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Anyone who has seen Vitor Roque in action or who has half an eye on Brazilian football will tell you that, alongside Endrick, Athletico Paranaense’s Vitor Roque is a jewel of a player and part of the next generation hoping to dominate world football.

At just 18 years of age, he has already made his debut for the Brazilian national team, and his attributes give him a decent shot of being a success in Europe.

That's not a guarantee of course.

Look how long it took Vinicius Junior to ascend into the top echelons at Real Madrid by way of example.

If reports are to be believed, then the player will join Barca either this summer or in January at the latest.

FFP, again, would appear to be the roadblock stopping anything from happening at this juncture, but that’s not to say that the club won’t be able to get the deal over the line before the current window closes.


Can he be the successor to Robert Lewandowski? The short answer is yes, but with a few caveats.

Supporters can’t expect such a young player, however good he may be, to just switch continents and move to a much more high profile league and club, and hit the ground running.

There will be all sorts of pressure on his shoulders in any event, without supporter expectation weighing even heavier.

Athletico Paranaense v Atletico Mineiro - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2023 Photo by Gabriel Machado/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Then there’s the difference in styles.

Vitor Roque’s food and drink is to be fed the balls in areas where we might expect Luis Suarez to find space to execute. In behind defenders or to feet.

His heading ability - more accurately, his lack of it - is the weakest part of his game, so there’s little point in his Barca team-mates firing in crosses for him to power home headers. That won’t happen.

A mix of physicality, flair, dribbling ability, unpredictability, acceleration and composure have seen him terrorise Brazilian football, but are all skills that he’s going to have to hone significantly once he arrives at the club.

He would join a long and illustrious roster of Brazilians to wear the blaugrana in so doing too, though it does have to be stressed that he’s a rough diamond at present. He needs a bit of polish to his game but, again... he is 18 years old. What were you doing at 18 years of age?!

On the face of it, there’s nothing to dislike about the potential capture, and if he can realise his potential, then his reported €35m transfer fee (+ €10m in variables) will seem like a bargain.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Barca Blaugranes Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Barca news from Barca Blaugranes